Every year Russian authorities confiscate gyrfalcons illegally bound for export. Tied up tightly with rope, wire or tape these large raptors are squeezed into containers or hidden in suitcases in an attempt to smuggle them out of the country.
Many don't survive. Those who are discovered alive are sent to the Wild Animal Rescue Center for treatment, rehabilitation and a chance to be released into the wild. Without the Center, these animals would have a slim chance of survival and release.
With support from IFAW, the Center was able to enhance its ability to care for these unfortunate raptors. Last year with IFAW's help, the center was able to buy a four-wheel drive for bird transportation.
A small building has been constructed which will serve as a hospital - equipped with necessary equipment and supplies - as well as an aviary to enable the birds to exercise in order to build strong muscles in preparation for release.
IFAW believes that wildlife belongs in the wild and has supported this rehabilitation work since 2006.
The war on Illegal trade in wild animals must be won and all live animals deserve proper, species-specific care once seized. Whether it's a little gecko or an endangered greater bamboo lemur, all deserve consideration. Committing adequate resources toward the care and rehabilitation of illegally traded animals is essential.